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Old 11-26-2010, 01:49 PM   #1
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1995 34' Land Yacht LE
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'95 Land Yacht Headlights

My 95 Land Yacht low beams are pathetic and I will likely upgrade to Sylvania Silver Stars. My question is this: Are the low beams supposed to be inboard or the outboard lights? ( I bought used and don't know orogonal setup.)

Thanks
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Old 11-26-2010, 07:35 PM   #2
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Low Beam

Low beam always on the outside.
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Old 01-23-2011, 11:42 AM   #3
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1992 36' Land Yacht
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Headlights/driving lights

Curious what brand & part #'s you decided on? I have used the McGuires kit to clean up the plastic covers with very good results, but the lights themselves are still pretty bad and we use the high beams most of the time. Am looking at adding driving lights as well. Any recommendations??Thanks. D&D
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Old 01-23-2011, 01:00 PM   #4
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Headlights

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Originally Posted by ddgall View Post
Curious what brand & part #'s you decided on? I have used the McGuires kit to clean up the plastic covers with very good results, but the lights themselves are still pretty bad and we use the high beams most of the time. Am looking at adding driving lights as well. Any recommendations??Thanks. D&D

Sounds like headlight re-adjustment might be needed. Is you coach running level and to OEM height?
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Old 01-23-2011, 02:48 PM   #5
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You guys might consider running the headlights off of relays-actuated from battery power leads. Removing the load from the headlight switch (now used only to signal the relay to turn on lamps) eliminates a bottleneck in the system. I've converted several cars/trucks, and the difference is more than remarkable, it is quantifiably better. I've corresponded with, and used the services/products of Daniel Stern, an automotive lighting engineer each time.

If you'll educate yourself with this site you'll note that proper lamp voltage will increase lumens by 80% . . yet it's only a few, crucial, volts. Use the links to CANDLEPOWER to purchase original and spare lamps.

I use ANCOR brand wiring products and construct a harness that can be removed as a single assembly (as does the factory). ANCOR adhesive-filled terminations are fantastic. A DIY harness of this sort is bulletproof when overbuilt in capacity. (I use 12-2 ANCOR and run grounds back to the battery; install with cushioned ADEL clamps the split-loom encased wiring every 8-12").

It isn't hard to achieve 13+ volts at the headlight, and well worth it. Also, Stern's directions on how to aim E-code headlights works well for all types.

Fancy lightbulbs ("lamps", properly) are a meaningless exercise. All types dim as they wear down, so practically any replacement will show a difference.

Don't cheap out on the housings, either. None of us have the eyesight of a 19-year old anymore, so better-than-new is just right. And a fifteen year old harness (as present) is ancient. At least each termination should be replaced after removing harness and inspecting for chafing, tears, etc. Hardly worth re-installing as corrosion generally moves past the termination back under the wire cover.

See Stern's schematics for ideas on driving/fog lamps, ingenious highbeam arrangements, etc.

Another source for equipment I have used with success is Susquehanna Motorsports.

Good luck

.
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Old 03-25-2011, 09:42 PM   #6
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The previous comments are dead on. Old age, corroded grounds and a load through old dash switch all contribute towards a dim yellow light. I installed HID bulbs from HIDExtra.com The leader in Xenon HID conversion kits and the problem is fixed. I opted for the 5000k bulbs as they are the same as HID bulbs installed in current delivery vehicles. VERY VERY Bright. Easy to install.
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Old 03-26-2011, 07:33 PM   #7
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HID Kights

Thanks Batwingz. Did you use the relays as well as the ballasts and bulbs from HID Extra. Which part number fit your '95?
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Old 03-27-2011, 06:14 PM   #8
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A caution to read about HID Retrofits.
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Old 03-28-2011, 10:12 AM   #9
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The normal bulb part number that came out of the headlights was a 9007. I replaced it with the HID 9007. Light spread from the lens is equal to the original except it is BRIGHTER, MUCH BRIGHTER. I'm not sure if that is the bulb that was intended for these lenses as this coach was my fathers since new and he may have changed them out. It really makes no sense for the 9007 to be in here because that bulb is made to work in a combined high/low in one fixture setup. I presume that the MH should of had a 9005/9006 combination originally but cannot find any documentation on it so far. I guess if I bury myself in the manual I might find the information.

I concur with REDNAX in that you should go with a reputable source. I can tell you as a 35 year practicing cop that the only way you will get messed with (in the south at least) is to have them incorrectly aimed (too high) or have an abnormal "blue" temp bulb like the rice burners put in their show cars. 6000k is the highest you should ever go as you actually lose lumens (brightness) the higher you go. I prefer 5000k because it looks more "normal/factory). I have these in my Suburban and two other cars as well as pretty much everyone I know that sees them and converted.

After my dad passed and I took custody of the old girl, the first thing I had to do is this upgrade. I drove it from Vero Beach, FL and hit Atlanta traffic at dark. BIG MISTAKE. I was blind with the factory lights...they are terrible. I'm sure we all have similar issues with these things as they age. I have done many rebuilds to this thing trying to save it.

My parents had a 72 31' soverign that they traded in for this coach. It has been to central america, Alaska and Polar Bear city in Canada not to mention every state except Hawaii.

I did use the relay harness and all the HID kits come with matching ballasts. All connectors come with the kit required for plug and play operation. I did take the time to clean up all of the major grounds at the frame near the fuse box (driver side) and house battery side. Physically removed the bolts, used sandpaper to shine the contact surfaces and tightened the connections.
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Old 06-08-2011, 07:44 PM   #10
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My LY still has the halogen sealed-beam units (4 rectangular ones approx 163 mm wide and 103 mm high). They are, as mentioned above, woefully inadequate and I was looking into replacing them with HID-type lights. What size/make/model of these lights should I get to replace the OEM ones on my LY? I had called CarID who has a website for headlights, but they want to know what regular car make/model lights I have now, and I don't really know.
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Old 08-17-2011, 08:19 AM   #11
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Headlamps

Quote:
Originally Posted by REDNAX View Post
You guys might consider running the headlights off of relays-actuated from battery power leads. Removing the load from the headlight switch (now used only to signal the relay to turn on lamps) eliminates a bottleneck in the system. I've converted several cars/trucks, and the difference is more than remarkable, it is quantifiably better. I've corresponded with, and used the services/products of Daniel Stern, an automotive lighting engineer each time.

If you'll educate yourself with this site you'll note that proper lamp voltage will increase lumens by 80% . . yet it's only a few, crucial, volts. Use the links to CANDLEPOWER to purchase original and spare lamps.

I use ANCOR brand wiring products and construct a harness that can be removed as a single assembly (as does the factory). ANCOR adhesive-filled terminations are fantastic. A DIY harness of this sort is bulletproof when overbuilt in capacity. (I use 12-2 ANCOR and run grounds back to the battery; install with cushioned ADEL clamps the split-loom encased wiring every 8-12").

It isn't hard to achieve 13+ volts at the headlight, and well worth it. Also, Stern's directions on how to aim E-code headlights works well for all types.

Fancy lightbulbs ("lamps", properly) are a meaningless exercise. All types dim as they wear down, so practically any replacement will show a difference.

Don't cheap out on the housings, either. None of us have the eyesight of a 19-year old anymore, so better-than-new is just right. And a fifteen year old harness (as present) is ancient. At least each termination should be replaced after removing harness and inspecting for chafing, tears, etc. Hardly worth re-installing as corrosion generally moves past the termination back under the wire cover.

See Stern's schematics for ideas on driving/fog lamps, ingenious highbeam arrangements, etc.

Another source for equipment I have used with success is Susquehanna Motorsports.

Good luck

.
Wow! I could use a phone call to discuss this in more detail as I really could benefit from more light!
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Old 08-17-2011, 09:50 AM   #12
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The two links above are reliable. I use NARVA lamps sourced through Stern, and CIBIE lamp housings as first choice. You simply cannot go wrong using products and advice from Mr. Stern. He is an easy man to work with and I seriously doubt any aftermarket supplier such as him has a better reputation based on the many vehicle-enthusiast boards where his name/site pop up.

Start by downloading/printing his diagrams. After looking at your vehicle, make your own as well. You'll want things such as fuse holders located such that you can easily check them, but are mounted so as to be out of the way. You want to know lengths before cuts, number of cuts, etc. Find the place to attach the relays to sheetmetal, and later have a way of tagging each (plus fuses) as high or low beam.

Choice in wiring products should be ANCOR in all cases, IMO. I would expect to spend $300-400 (and more, as below) for all parts/supplies/tools. I don't want to ever have to re-build or repair this. Buy highest quality crimpers and strippers if you don't have them (not Home Depot, but an electrical supply house or Snap-On dealer, etc). You may wish to purchase an ANCOR catalog as I have done to see the full-range of possible supply (and in below links).

You'll want to make measurements from the battery to the headlamps via existing wiring harnesses as near as possible, plus a bit more. Run some twine and attach lightly. The "ideal", IMO, is to construct harnesses similar to the way the factory does it. Although unlikely, you'd want to be able to remove this wiring as its' own bundle.

I start at the headlamp location (after they are removed) plus a bit of slack after stripping (very clean, no nicks or breaks; practice on scrap), and work them along existing pathways, or pathways protected from road debris, engine fan, belts, etc. I temporarily tie them in place with some light bare wire, and mark or note the places I will (preferably) use cushioned Adel Clamps with stainless self-tapping sheetmetal screws (for which I still point-mark and pilot-drill). I also buy several types of ss nylon-coated cable ties; both the type that is attachable via fastener to the metal, or simply pull tight. I expect to "bind" the cabling every 6", and support it every 6-8". Never taut, always a bit loosely.

As this is heavy I may have to do new supports for existing wiring with the above, so different sizes may be needed for solo running or conjoint runs.

After both headlamp sides are measured, routed and cut I remove them and cover with plastic split-loom conduit and proceed to attach along the chosen routing. (This is always a good stopping point for the day, IMO, as one can be under the vehicle and back out on one's feet multiple times depending on the vehicle, etc. I may have installed and removed the harnesses a half-dozen times. I may also slightly move other ones around so as to accommodate this work).

I use ANCOR adhesive-filled "shrink" terminations and connectors. No exceptions. With 12-2 or 12-3 multi-strand ANCOR cabling this makes for USCG-approved installations. No soldering (as vibration loosens soldered connexions over time). And no problems years down the road. Buy a few more than you need.

One will need waterproof fuses, so ANCOR again, with holders (and spares).

The last one I did was for my USMC pilot son on his Jeep. After six years and being stationed directly on the Atlantic once, the Gulf Coast twice and the West Coast once and 70k miles there have been no problems. As I requested he purchased one extra set of lamps (always replaced in pairs) and they have been since installed. We call them Alien Landing Lights as they are more powerful than is quite legal . . but because I use Mr. Sterns Headlamp Adjustment instructions carefully, we have also never been "flashed" by oncoming traffic while on low-beam. (And, with a big load on board, we also know how many turns of the adjusting screw to re-aim).

I also did the Big Three Upgrade to reduce system strain should he add a two-way transceiver or faincy stereo. I simply used HD marine batt cabling pre-made in various lengths (too long is easier to deal with than too short), plus new batt cables with mil-spec clamps from this firm and a big marine fuse & holder.

This is also a good time to relay-run the factory electric "city horn[s]" and add a pair of HELLA Supertones behind or on the grille.

The single caveat to doing this is the risk of damaging old, brittle factory wiring. Heat, miles and age take their toll. Time spent planning is more important than the actual work. Strain on existing harnesses is a no-no as is routing near high heat sources. The more time spent removing components (grille, etc) the better. Even on the cars/trucks I've done -- nearly new compared to these antiques (10+ years) -- I remove as much as possible.

And expect to get dirty. Use safety glasses as dirt will rain on you at moments you are concentrating from underneath (vehicle dependent).

This is a job that, done well, takes a LOT more time than it appears it should. Better-than-factory is never so easy as it first appears. What looks like two hours is for me a two day job full-time, minimum. I'm slow, and don't care a bit as headlamps, horns and primary charge circuit upgrades are a reliability/longevity upgrade.

Good luck

(PM me after your homework if needed; we can add it to this thread once all is sorted)

.
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1990 35' Silver Streak Sterling; 9k GVWR.
2004 DODGE Cummins 305/555; 6-manual; 9k GVWR.
Hensley Arrow. 9-cpm solo, 15-cpm towing
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Old 08-20-2011, 09:49 PM   #13
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1995 35' Land Yacht Diesel
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Another fix for low voltage which = weak lights

I recently replaced my alternator on my LY with 5.9 Cummins. I had been chasing a problem with alternator belts coming apart. I finally took the alternator off and through extensive research and two 30 mile trips to the Cummins dealer, found that whoever replaced the alternator last time had put a non-spec pulley back on the replacement. I put the $80 Cummins factory part on a new Bosch commercial 160amp alternator...and no more belt issues.

In the process of confirming that the alternator was providing the proper output, I discovered 14.1 volt out of the alternator BEFORE the airstream factory battery isolator. Much to my suprise, I found a .8 volt drop out of the isolator to both batteries. We have been chasing low voltage problems for years on this coach and apparently it was by design.

The new modern battery switches that are available experience no voltage drop and subsequently I replaced the factory isolator located on the firewall inside the rear engine cover. I used a Blue Sea Systems 7622 from Blue Sea Systems 7622. I now have 14.1 volts direct to BOTH banks of batteries when the engine is rolling and my batteries rest at the designed voltage. I suspect my batteries will now last longer because they will now always get a full charge.

Another airstream mystery solved! Many more to follow.
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Old 08-26-2011, 09:37 AM   #14
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Anytime you have to run through a diode, you will have a .8V drop in voltage.
I use the "SurePower 1315-200: isolator on my Clipper.
This is a must if you are running AGM batteries to properly charge them.
However, the high voltage will kill many of the cheap LED lamps. Always check the specs on LED to get the widest range of voltage available.
This voltage drop also applies to the wire harness to the toad, as it should have diodes in it for the protection of the toad electrical system.
Dave


Quote:
Originally Posted by batwingz View Post
I recently replaced my alternator on my LY with 5.9 Cummins. I had been chasing a problem with alternator belts coming apart. I finally took the alternator off and through extensive research and two 30 mile trips to the Cummins dealer, found that whoever replaced the alternator last time had put a non-spec pulley back on the replacement. I put the $80 Cummins factory part on a new Bosch commercial 160amp alternator...and no more belt issues.

In the process of confirming that the alternator was providing the proper output, I discovered 14.1 volt out of the alternator BEFORE the airstream factory battery isolator. Much to my suprise, I found a .8 volt drop out of the isolator to both batteries. We have been chasing low voltage problems for years on this coach and apparently it was by design.

The new modern battery switches that are available experience no voltage drop and subsequently I replaced the factory isolator located on the firewall inside the rear engine cover. I used a Blue Sea Systems 7622 from Blue Sea Systems 7622. I now have 14.1 volts direct to BOTH banks of batteries when the engine is rolling and my batteries rest at the designed voltage. I suspect my batteries will now last longer because they will now always get a full charge.

Another airstream mystery solved! Many more to follow.
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